Originally posted on June 11, 2012
…and his name is Riley Schultz. Do you remember Riley, Katie’s first boyfriend from Tangled Web? Sure, you do…Katie first thought of Riley this way:
He’d always been a cocky sonofa, Katie had thought. She knew Riley, a boy with sleepy eyes and a permanently affixed hemp choker, had been on the wrestling and baseball teams back in their freshman and sophomore years, but he gave athletics up to sing lead vocals for Johnny’s band. She knew him from her algebra and geometry classes and had never had a high opinion of him. He’d always just seemed like a lot of shine and little substance.
Riley was…conceited and cocky. He thought he was the greatest thing to ever walk the earth, and he made sure everyone else knew it. Most of his fan base (screaming teenage girls) believed it too and their weak sighs and hopeful eyes fanned his flame. From his Levi’s that were a little too tight to accentuate his bulge to the disinterested cool chin nod he had perfected over the years, it was obvious to Katie that Riley was his own biggest fan.
Later, when Riley becomes her boyfriend, she sees him in a new light:
She liked his confidence. She found it stimulating and attractive. She looked over at him, her new boyfriend (what a concept), and took him in. He had brownish-reddish shaggy longish hair, and underneath his ridiculous aviator glasses, his eyes were a deep, dark brown. He had a slight smattering of freckles on his cheeks and a strong jaw. He had wide shoulders and she knew he worked out several days a week. It showed on his chest (which she had only seen bare onstage). And he was all of a sudden after a mere ten minutes of conversation not a two-dimensional character anymore. He was real. And he was sweet. How many girls in the school would hate her guts tomorrow if she walked in the school holding his hand?
Well, welcome to Riley more than ten years later. I’m currently knee-deep in a project I hadn’t planned to start until fall, but I got sucked in. The book is going to be called Everything But, and it’s about Riley and a young woman named Erin.
Now…here’s the cool part. I didn’t like Riley in Tangled Web, but I knew he had a story to tell, and holy crap! I had no idea. And now, all of a sudden, he’s gorgeous; he’s hot; and he’s (mostly) loveable, although he’s going to blow it more than once with Erin, wrecking his chances. And that’s too bad, because he really likes her, and the feeling is mutual.
I’m having a ball with this story, and I’m doing something really different with it. You already know I tend to write from one character’s point of view, and the main reason why is because I like my readers to closely identify with that character. It’s hard to do when you tell a story from multiple points of view. You’re more like God or an impartial observer when you dip into lots of characters’ heads.
But sometimes that’s kinda fun, and that’s what I’m doing with this story. I’m writing it more like traditional romance, just for a fun change, and so not only is Erin telling her side of the story, but Riley gets to tell his side too. And it turns out he has a lot to say. In fact, I’m having a hard time shutting him up.
But one thing? Holy crap. This guy is sexy as hell, and I had no idea when I was busy drooling over Johnny…